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How to Defend Your Home

First Things First

Congratulations! You are joining a growing movement of homeowners who sick of the bureaucracy, of trying to get your payments modified, and fed up with the banks having crashed our economy---banks that got bailed out and are now looking to take your safe place to live from you. We are the 99%, and we are fighting to keep our piece of the American Dream.

The Questions
The first step in all of this is getting a handle on your situation:
Where are you at in the process?

Are you underwater, and looking for the banks to change your loan?

Are you in foreclosure?

Has your home been sold already?

Do you have an eviction notice?


Who are the people you know who can help?

Will your friends, family, and neighbors come meet with you to take action?

First Steps
Take pictures or video of your home and your story and get the word out about your situation

Put a sign in your window and in your yard that says you are not leaving

See if there are groups that will organize with you.

Are there any Occupies you can visit nearby?

Are there any community groups?

Engaging in the Fight

Hold a house meeting with friends, family and neighbors, and occupiers if they are helping out.

Do an action where you deliver a letter (like this one) to your bank and demand they fix your loan.

Send out a press release and film the action.

Already Lost Your Home?

Skip the previous step.

Is your home important to you?

Are you willing to fight to get it back?

If the answer to both is yes: Here are some next steps you can take to reclaim your home:

Different Types of Action

Auction Protest
Basic Description
Protest at foreclosure sale auctions to discourage purchase by any investor who intends to evict. We want resale to owner.

Alternative Type
Loud with numbers. Seek to postpone. Seek to appear threatening. Smaller. Bear witness. Engage with investors.

Different Types of Action

Basic Description
Candelight and other vigils in front of someones house to mobilize neighborhood support.

Alternative Type
Solemn, candles, testimony, draw out neighbors Set stage for blockade. More militant and spirited.

Different Types of Action

Bank Pickets
Basic Description
Picketing in front of bank branch offices downtown and in neighborhoods.

Alternative Type
Large , well planned. Small and frequent. Constant Presence. Questions Will there be action inside? Are you Willing To Risk Arrest?

Different Types of Action

Bank Functions
Basic Description
Protests and bank dinners and events, such as sporting events, chamber of commerce meetings, any place where the bank would like to have good PR.

Alternative Type
Is Goal to Disrupt? To Be Visible Presence> Does event require large turnout & planning? What is narrative that counters bank story?

Different Types of Action

Basic Description
Protest at moment of eviction where some sit in door way and risk arrest. 28 blockades called since Jan. 2008. Arrests 3 times.

Alternative Type
Questions All blockades are last minute (48 hours +)

Will anyone risk arrest?

Importance of individual case vs. moment?

Different Types of Action

More Options
Basic Description
Use a variety of nonviolent tactics to prevent the sheriff from coming in

Alternative Type
Community meeting Community based rally, or series Occupation

Also make sure you have a rapid alert system so that you can turn more people out if the sheriff is coming.

If you are working with Occupies, invite them to come stay with you.

Make sure ALL the neighbors are on your side.

Do a press conference and announce that you are not leaving.

The Occupation Itself

A lot of the occupation itself in eviction defense can be rather dull. Some things can build energy:
Holding General Assemblys at the house on a regular and advertise basis Creating work groups: Actions, cleanup, neighborhood relations, media (both talking with press and creating our own videos and stories.)

Make it visible: signs and banners and art are important Make it fun: host activities for neighborhood kids, teach-ins, etc

Occupy Our Homes Toolkit

8 X 11 I am not leaving sign.

11 X 17 I am not leaving sign.

Sample Letter to the Bank


Still need help? Sign up for a Conference Call hosted by the experience organizers at ACCE.

The Long Road

Stay in touch with and we will post your stories and videos and host calls that keep you in touch with home occupations across the country.
Its an uphill battle against the 1% and the banks. Not every attempt at defending your home will be successful---but resisting and working together are your only choice and your best bet.

You are not alone. Not only are the 99% here to help you defend your home, many folks across the country are going through the same thing. Connect with them and help them in any way you can.